Sunday, July 19, 2015
On July 2nd, I went to Writer's Block Bookstore, 124 Welbuorne Avenue Winter Park FL, to go to a book signing and reading by local author Stacy Barton of her new novella Lilly Harp. The bookstore owner, Lauren Zimmerman had been at the opening of my exhibit in the Winter Park Chambers and she had asked me to bring a framed print to her store to hang in the hallway. Lauren wasn't at the book signing but I left the print tucked safely away in a back reading room. The bookstore feels much like an intimate home with multiple book lined bedrooms where you can stop linger and read in comfy chairs.
Stacy's book Lilly Harp is set on a small Florida island only accessible by boat. Her protagonist is a young female art student returning to the island. Rich enveloping deep rooted mangroves welcome the artist who has found out she is pregnant. I first heard Stacy read from a draft of the book several years ago at Infusion tea. This story has gestated for quite some time. Stacy explained that she had shopped it around to many of the large publishers but they don't get the notion of a novella. She ultimately went with Word Farm Press the publisher of her book of short stories, Surviving Nashville.
At the book signing, I got to meet Stacy's daughter Meredith Lynelle Barton who is a dancer and a visual artist from Miami. That is a rare combination of talents. She asked about my art supplies, so perhaps she will branch out and start sketching her own life events. I can vouch for the fact that sketching dance rehearsals offers limitless subject matter.
It turned out that I sketched multiple generations of Stacy's family at the reading including Gail, Stacy's daughter in law, just by chance. In my sketch, not everyone is facing Stacy, but that is just because I sketched them in the moments before and after the reading. Trust me, you could hear a pin drop while Stacy was reading. The only person I didn't sketch was Stacy's husband Todd, who was deep in conversation right beside me most of the time. He had read aloud to Stacy the first seven chapters of her book while they relaxed at home. I can't think of a more romantic sign of love and support than that. Lilly Harp is available locally at Writer's Block Bookstore and Bookmark It, in East End Market 3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 109 Orlando, FL. This is clearly a book with heart felt character development and a lush Florida setting. I highly suggest you pick up a copy for yourself.